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How to control your USB enabled scope with Stellarium Mobile Plus

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#1 adiastra

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:50 PM

Thought I would write a little "HowTo" on connecting Stellarium Mobile Plus DIRECTLY to your USB enabled mount. 

 

I have a new Celestron 5SE which comes with a Mini (not micro) USB port at the base of the hand controller. I figured there had to be a way to control the scope using this port connected directly to my mobile phone.. I was absolutely correct. As this is a pretty new option/configuration I am writing up instructions. 

This should work with most USB enabled scopes (see the Stellarium controller compatibility list)

 

First thing is that Stellarium Mobile Plus is NOT the same as the free version. It is currently $9.99 in the Google Play Store. 

 

I have ONLY done this on a Android phone and can confirm it works on Android. As as second piece of software is needed ($0.99 in the Play store) i can not confirm any setup that works on iOS however i would guess that there is a way to do it. 

 

This will work on any android phone that supports USB OTG (or USB On The Go) 

 

Required components of the system 

 

 

Once you have the needed components you will need to configure the BT/USB/TCP Bridge software first. 

Once you do this once you will see that you can setup the software and connection in about 30 seconds. 

You must obviously align your scope before trying to use GoTo. 


Step 1

open the BT/USB/TCP Bridge Pro application and click CONNECT/LISTEN in the first section

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by adiastra, 28 January 2020 - 07:17 AM.


#2 adiastra

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:59 PM

Step 2

Select start TCP server

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Edited by adiastra, 27 January 2020 - 02:00 PM.


#3 adiastra

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:00 PM

Step 3

Set the port number 5555

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Edited by adiastra, 27 January 2020 - 02:00 PM.


#4 adiastra

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:02 PM

Step 4

You should now see that the first section has a connection. Now let's set up a second section.

 

This IP is what Stellarium will need when we connect to the mount. 

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Edited by adiastra, 27 January 2020 - 02:22 PM.


#5 adiastra

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:04 PM

Step 5

Connect your USB adapter to your phone and connect a USB cable between the adapter and your scope. 
 

Step 6

Setup the USB section as shown and make sure you click "USB connect" at the bottom 

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Edited by adiastra, 27 January 2020 - 02:06 PM.


#6 adiastra

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:06 PM

This is what the result should look like (you will have different IPs)

 

NOTE: A Wifi connection is not required to do this but if you are connected to wifi you will notice that the IP address is on your Wifi network. You could also use your phone as a wifi hotspot to connect other software (from a laptop or  tablet) to your scope. I am not going over those options but if you fiddle with it you will figure it out. 

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Edited by adiastra, 27 January 2020 - 03:56 PM.


#7 adiastra

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:11 PM

Finally open Stellarium Mobile Plus and find the scope control section 

 

Once you fill out the form with the proper IP (same as your TCP Server IP) and port (5555) slide the "Connect" button over and Stellarium will connect to the mount. 

As you see here mine is already connected. 

 

From there just brows through, select an object and click "GoTo"  (use the hand controller to align your scope first) 

Hope this helps someone

 

Sorry for all the posts, could only do one screenshot per post. 
 

Clear Skies

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Edited by adiastra, 27 January 2020 - 03:57 PM.

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#8 adiastra

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 07:14 AM

The Stellarium developer has included this thread as a resource on its Telescope Control page (at the bottom)
https://www.stellari...um-mobile-plus/



#9 Noah4x4

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 01:27 PM

Excellent write up. A good methodology for those that want to embrace USB and Stellarium Mobile Plus.

 

The only caution I would suggest is that people need to think holistically about both their current and future remote control needs. I didn't and that was an expensive mistake. Tackling these challenges sequentially (rather than holistically) can lead to many unexpected and potentially costly twists and turns. 

 

I first solved scope control using a Celestron WiFi accessory and Android tablet. Then realised that I needed a different PC/Windows solution for my camera. Then having resolved that, I perceived I needed yet another route for autofocusser,  for which I unnecessarily purchased an expensive wireless control unit because it didn't work with my other solutions. Then ran into computing ooomph and power problems. I ended up with three seperate control devices and frustrations galore. USB can also be limited and there are known USB3 conflicts with 2.4ghz WiFi.

 

Eventually, I started again and found one holistic solution for all devices by using 5 ghz WiFi, two (more powerful) computers and Microsoft Windows Pro 10 Remote Desktop. I now have box loads of redundant kit and a mile of discarded USB, ethernet and HDMI cables. The question must always be, if I remote control scope by route X, how will I then control camera and/or other devices? 



#10 adiastra

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 01:54 PM

As far as costs, this is a $20 solution (hardware and software). Up and running with scope control on your Android device for 20 bucks is a great place to start. This method will also work with Meade scopes that have a USB port.

I have been talking to the Stellarium dev(s) and this may be an unnecessary step in the future if they get direct USB communications working. That is not the case at the moment so this solution works for now.   


Edited by adiastra, 28 January 2020 - 01:58 PM.

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